Qualifications to be proud of

The qualifications we as a Trade Association offer have evolved a huge amount, especially over the last few years. It is over two years ago since we relaunched our preservation qualification, now known as the Certificated Surveyor in Timber and Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB). This is now the qualification that surveyors in the preservation industry aspire to have, and frankly, as an Association, we are extremely proud of that…and we hope all PCA members are proud too!

It’s NOT a ‘walk in the park’!

We have always been transparent about what level of learning is required. The syllabus is freely available on our website and anyone who has seen it will agree that a substantial amount of knowledge is needed to gain this qualification including:

  • extensive knowledge of all forms of dampness
  • an understanding of a large number of wood destroying insects and fungi
  • what the appropriate treatments are

Within the syllabus there is a strong weighting towards diagnostics too. We passionately believe that diagnosing the problem correctly is paramount to providing the right solution and we have spent the past fours years researching and developing our newly launched Buildings Moisture Index (BMI) Diagnostics Tool.

You will not get the qualification by just sitting the course!

Delegates do not achieve the qualification by simply attending a three-day course. To achieve CSTDB, candidates need to:

  • Pass three written exams
  • Produce two reports
  • Sit two interviews
  • Be able to prove they can identify timber defects
  • …all whilst studying long into the night after working during the day!

This qualification is no push over and candidates will need to revise and prepare in order to pass. In fact, don’t just take our word it why not read what one of our members had to say in a recent blog Life of a Newly Qualified Surveyor

PCA members are experts in dampness in buildings

Many surveyors, mortgage lenders and housing associations etc., will request a member of the PCA for works being carried out. Why? There are people out there claiming to be leading experts in the field of dampness in buildings, but have zero credentials to back this up. PCA members must have all of their surveying staff either to have obtained, or be working towards their relevant sector qualification. This gives them the reassurance that they have obtained a certain level of knowledge and can demonstrate a certain level of competence.

This is vitally important now more than ever with the recent launch of the Government’s Green Homes Grant Scheme.

You may see other professionals use other post nominals and if you have any doubt as to what the qualification is should not be afraid to ask. Make sure they are accredited by a third party and make sure they are accessible to more than just internal staff.

PCA Qualifications are a benchmark for industry standards

All PCA qualifications are now third party accredited by the Awarding Body for Building Education (ABBE). ABBE is the leading awarding organisation providing qualifications for the built environment and you can read more about ABBE and their accredited qualifications here.

The CSTDB qualification is a benchmark for standards in industry and through this the PCA are able to raise standards in industry. If you are looking for a competent surveyor for dampness and timber defects then CSTDB can provide consumers with reassurance that they have undergone rigorous testing. PCA members should be proud to have reached this standard and homeowners should insist on it.

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